With so many budding entrepreneurs out there, it’s no wonder that TV networks have started creating shows that capitalize on the public’s growing interest in business. “Shark Tank” is the perfect example of this current trend. The show is certainly entertaining, but it’s also inspiring for those hoping to get their products on the market or jump-start their new businesses. If you watch with your business goals in mind, you can actually take away beneficial philosophies and tools that will help you as you navigate through the corporate industry. Let’s look at five valuable lessons entrepreneurs can learn from watching “Shark Tank.”
- Have passion. Without passion, you’ll never be able to succeed in any business venture. Just like the “sharks” on the show, no one will buy what you’re selling if you don’t sell it with enthusiasm. Whether you have an idea for an invention or a proposal for a new business model, make sure you’re excited about what you can bring to the table. If you don’t have faith in your idea, then no one else is going to. Fight for what you believe in! Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know you gave it your all.
- Be clear about your goals. Many “Shark Tank” entrepreneurs make the mistake of going on the show without a clear view of what their business objectives are. Do you know how you plan to package, price and distribute your product? What is your profit margin per unit? What about marketing your new business? Do you have a strategy in place for how to use social media to advertise your company or services? All of these questions need answering before you propose your ideas to anyone in the position to take your business to the next level. By having a distinct vision of what you hope to accomplish, you’ll set yourself up for achieving your business ambitions.
- Accept constructive criticism. The “sharks” have been undertaking business projects, forming partnerships and cutting deals for years. When it comes to sound business practices, they know what they’re talking about. The business mentors you encounter will likely have years of experience and know-how as well. Listening to any comments and concerns those businesspeople offer will be beneficial to you as an entrepreneur. You may or may not agree with their suggestions or critiques of your ideas, but keeping an open mind might allow you to see impending problems and solutions you might not have considered. Both positive and negative feedback can be helpful to your entrepreneurial efforts. No matter how great your business concepts are, there’s always room for improvement.
- Be willing to negotiate. “Shark Tank” hopefuls often lose out on potential deals because they’re reluctant to bend on any part of their plans. As an entrepreneur, you may have to compromise on certain issues. Figure out what you can give in on and what you’re willing to do to make a sale or secure a contract. You want to keep your original business ideas intact as much as possible, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. When a good deal is on the line, you might have to negotiate your early earnings or how fast you plan on expanding your company. If it comes down to it, giving up certain things is better than giving up everything.
- Know when to walk away. When many of us watch “Shark Tank,” it’s easy to play armchair quarterback and wonder why some entrepreneurs are willing to walk away from seemingly profitable contracts. However, you really don’t know what you would do if you were in their shoes. While it’s good to compromise on the less essential parts of developing your business or invention, some things really are non-negotiable. If a potential investor or buyer wants you to completely change your idea or compromise on your personal belief system, then it may be better to explore other options. You might be better off to continue searching for another partner who truly shares your vision. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right for you, then it may not be.
“Shark Tank” is a great source for picking up useful tips and techniques that can help make your product or business a success. With these five valuable lessons that can be learned from watching the show, you can gain insight and understanding of the corporate world. So set your digital video recorder and take some notes! Watching “Shark Tank” may be just what you need to avoid the common pitfalls and learn the tools you need to become a successful entrepreneur!